Jesus – Day 8
Jesus: Teacher of the Golden Rule.
(Lk 6.37–38, 41–42)
Hypocrisy is a very subtle thing and what makes it so repulsive is that it is unjust. The hypocrite is no better qualified than anyone else to judge someone else’s behaviour and may, himself, possibly exhibit even worse behaviour than the person he is judging! Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
It is so easy to criticise someone for a fault and be blind to our own. It is even apparent in children from an early age. One child will call for Mom or Dad to ‘tell on’ the sibling who is stealing cherries off the cake, and when the parent arrives, finds that the informer has helped himself to a whole slice! But only the sibling has erred… the informer was hungry! That same person may grow up to be the driver who is critical of others, yet will not notice his own speeding, or failure to stop at stop streets, if he is not dealt with effectively.
What strikes you most about the picture created by the words of Jesus in the verse above? It is clear. In His Teachings He spoke out plainly and directly against sin. Not only did Jesus produce this very graphic description of a hypocrite’s behaviour, but in Luke’s Gospel he told a parable about it too. Each is deliberately exaggerated and appears to be ridiculous, but is clearly designed to teach a truth. In Luke 6:39 He asked, “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?”
Indeed, what makes a blind man think he is capable of leading another blind man? Little wonder that Jesus spoke out so strongly about judging others. Whatever we do to others are what we can expect to receive ourselves. And we must remember that “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we feel that we are being led by someone no more insightful than ourselves, but that doesn’t give us a right to look down on the person. We are not called to judge anyone and if we took the time to look at ourselves honestly, we may see that we have much imperfect in us and great need of humility. In Matthew 7:12 Jesus is so wise when He says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Do you do that? Do you have a plank in your eye?